We're often called about situations where mediation isn't the right answer - whether it be because there isn't a formal dispute, or it might be that mediation is considered to be too formal due to the need to sign an agreement to mediate (see our questions and answers for more detail).
On one occasion we were contacted by a professional organisation who had a number of teams who needed to work cohesively, but there were all kinds of issues - some individuals didn't get on with others in other teams, some teams were working against other teams and in some instances people within the same team were working against each other.
This was more of a cultural / employee engagement challenge therefore we didn't utilise the mediation process as such, but we did use a number of the skills and techniques that we use on a daily basis but through facilitated conversations.
Initially some conversations needed to be facilitated between individuals and small groups of individuals due to the nature of the issues, and it was clear that jumping straight into a large group session was not the best way forward.
Having facilitated these smaller sessions, we then facilitated a full-group session where the teams got to know each other better as people and then worked together on formulating their joint plans to work differently going forward - including how they would deal with issues when they went wrong.
The final day was tiring but incredibly productive, and those involved were pleased that they'd been able to have the proper conversations that they'd been unable to have over a number of years.